All 20 of LSU's athletic teams have had representatives, both coaches and players, spend time over the past two days lending a helping hand wherever and whenever possible.
With the LSU campus serving as a recovery site for the victims of Hurricane Katrina, many of the LSU student-athletes have used their free time to assist the Red Cross as volunteers at the two shelters on campus.
On Tuesday night, LSU men's basketball standout Glen "Big Baby" Davis, who recently spent a month as part of USA Basketball's U-21 team that placed fifth at the World Championships, was among the dozens of volunteers spending their time at the triage unit at the Maravich Assembly Center. As dozen's of ambulances lined up outside the arena with scores of injured and battered victims, Davis spent the night inside the arena, working until at least 3 a.m.
David did everything he could. He unloaded trucks. He wheeled in patients and even assisted doctors with a severely injured man on the floor of the arena.
Just five months ago, Davis was on the same arena floor helping John Brady's basketball team to a 14-1 home record by averaging 13 points and eight rebounds a game. Now, Davis was part of a group of volunteers, which included many doctors and nurses, who were witnessing that of the critically injured and in some cases, he even saw death.
On the other side of the arena, LSU strength and conditioning coordinator Tommy Moffitt and offensive line coach Stacy Searels worked hand trucks, unloading several 18-wheelers full of supplies that included medicine, baby beds, and food. Gymnastics assistant coach Bob Moore was also on hand assisting in any way possible.
Earlier on Tuesday night, LSU coach Les Miles along with offensive coordinator Jimbo Fisher visited the Maravich Assembly Center and the Carl Maddox Field House, the facility hosting special need victims.
Across campus, LSU equipment manager Greg Stringfellow and his staff were at the Football Operations Building washing linens and clothes, not for the football team or soccer team, but for those victims who needed clean sheets to sleep on or a change of clothes at the shelter. As the clothes came out of the dryers, the volleyball, women's soccer, softball and gymnastics teams were all there to fold the clothes and return to the Maddox Field House.
In all, Stringfellow washed an estimated he washed 4,000 pounds of linens on Tuesday followed by another 10,000 pounds on Wednesday.
The Tiger football team has also been involved, going to the Baton Rouge River Center to spend time with those families who have been displaced from their homes. The football team brought t-shirts and posters and signed autographs and took pictures with the children and their families.
"I just don't know what to say. It's such a horrible deal but if there is any small, miniscule way that we can try to help people or just a distraction to put a smile on somebody's face, we will try to do it," senior center Rudy Niswanger said. "We had a Red Cross lady come up to us and talk about what a great thing it was that we were there. It really made me think that we were only there for 45 minutes signing things and passing out shirts and this lady is going to be there 24 hours a day for the next three weeks probably. And she's talking about what a great thing it is we are doing?
"It really makes me think about what she is doing and what the contributions of people like that are making. This definitely shows that football is just a game and it is entertainment. It is not anything of what these people are going through."
The Tiger football team has also secured a 15-foot trailer and is filling it with clothes, shoes, non-perishable food items and anything else that can make someone's stay in Baton Rouge just a little bit easier. The team plans to fill the trailer, which is already hall full, and distribute the items at the Maddox Field House later this week.
The LSU women's soccer team, who is already a week into its season, still managed time to volunteer despite having a practice earlier in the day.
"We filled out forms and helped fax," LSU soccer standout Tara Mitnick said. "But more than anything, we just listened to people. We listened to their stories, what they had to say. We just gave them someone to talk to."
Tiger players, coaches helping out
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